Saturday, March 04, 2006

At Seventeen

Janis Ian Janis Ian Columbia 1975
To those of us who know the pain Of valentines that never came, And those whose names were never called When choosing sides for basketball. It was long ago and far away The world was younger than today And dreams were all they gave for free To ugly duckling girls like me. We all play the game and when we dare To cheat ourselves at solitaire Inventing lovers on the phone Repenting other lives unknown That call and say, come dance with me and murmur vague obscenities At ugly girls like me At seventeen.
Every time this song starts on the radio, I always stop what I'm doing to listen carefully. This song is just so full of powerful -- wrenching, even -- images that I should really put it all here. This is poetry at its best.


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